I was the anti-planner when it came to our wedding. Yes, I'd always dreamed of a beautiful wedding day, but I'd never been one to obsess over the details. I'm glad none of my bridesmaids bought me a bridal magazine when I got engaged, because it probably would've never been opened (a bad thing for a photographer to admit?). I could barely even stand to look at wedding boards on Pinterest. Just too overwhelming.
I did, however, want our wedding to be unique, memorable, and personal - who doesn't? I could not have cared less about centerpieces or napkin colors, but there were a few ideas and details that I'm really glad came to fruition. Some meaningful, some frivolous, but they all made the day more fun.
The Dirt Jar
Instead of a unity candle or colored sand or cross, we went a little more down to earth - literally - and did a unity dirt jar. And I think it's the coolest thing ever. Andrew had a small jar of dirt from his hometown; I had a small jar from mine. We poured them into a larger jar together to represent forming our common ground - the foundation of our family. We added a layer of Dominican sand from our honeymoon, and we'll add a layer of dirt from every place we live. We've got some Oklahoma red dirt in there already. I can't wait to see how the layers build on each other!
The Bride Jacket
Just a white, stretchy cotton jacket with Bride stitched across the back - my friend Jacque, who served as our ceremony reader, wore it as she got ready on her own wedding day, and her best friend before that. Jacque gave it to me to wear the morning of our wedding, and then I passed it along to my Maid of Honor when she got engaged. It's like the Sisterhood of the Traveling ... Jacket. It'll become faded and tattered as it passes from bride to bride, but I hope the tradition stays alive.
I'm an Aggie through and through, and one thing I could always count on when standing for four hours at a sweltering hot football game at Kyle Field was an ice cold lemon chill: those snow-cone-in-a-carton frozen lemonade concoctions. My mom actually had the idea of having them for our ceremony, which was outside, in June (moms are smart like that). We filled some troughs with ice, ordered a few dozen cases of lemon chills from HEB, gave Andrew's niece the very important job of handing out spoons, and let our guests grab one as they took their seat. My five-year-old cousin, and a few fifty-five-year-olds too, will tell you they were a hit.
How We Met Snippets on Fan Programs
So about that outdoor ceremony in the middle of summer... Printing our programs on fans was really a no-brainer, but one idea I did steal from Pinterest was including snippets on the back about how we met the members of our bridal party (and fun facts about us, too!).
Bridesmaids' First Look
I have our photographer to thank for this one - and brides, it's so worth doing with your girls! After everyone else was dressed and ready, my mom and Maid of Honor, Jess, helped me put on my dress in a private room, while Amy, our photographer, captured those quiet moments. When every last button was buttoned, Jess opened the door to a group full of the BEST faces. I'll never forget that moment, seeing my best friends - the ones who've been there through it all - finally see me as a bride.
Wedding Day Soundtrack
This one was pretty simple. All of the music we'd picked out for our day, from the songs that played as people walked in, to the ceremony music, first dances and the must-have reception songs, all went onto a playlist. Whenever I feel like re-living the best day of our lives, I just turn it on!
Renting a Venue Where Our Bridal Party Could Stay
Picking a venue can be stressful because you have to not only think about aesthetics, but about logistics, which is not my forte. But I remember getting out of the car at Memory Lane and telling my mom, "We're done here. This is it." Y'all, I'm not kidding - this place blew us away. The Chronicle agrees - they named it one of the top venues in Texas. How lucky am I that it's in my hometown? Memory Lane has beautiful hill country facilities and a staff with hearts of gold, but the really cool thing about it is the house and private cabin on site for overnight lodging. Our entire bridal party and their dates stayed in the house after the reception, so they avoided having to worry about driving or getting a hotel, and we got to spend a little extra time (poolside) with our people, which was great because we weren't quite ready for the festivities to end.
These little details helped put some fun touches on our day and gave us some special things to look back on. Saying no to things that stress you out and staying authentic to you as a couple - that's how to plan a wedding day you and your guests will love.